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Becoming an Empty-Nester...What Do I Do Now?

Becoming an Empty Nester: What Do I Do Now?

It’s happened.  The day I have been dreading for eighteen years is here….my baby, Hanna, is graduating.  I will officially be an “empty nester” in August.  Sigh. How on Earth did this happen? It’s not rocket science, she grew up. The same thing happened to her two older sisters. But why? Why did they have […]

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Raising Thankful Hearts: 5 Thanksgiving Traditions to Encourage Gratitude

You’ve probably scoured Pinterest for new recipes or pulled out Grandma’s handwritten recipe for her famous pumpkin pie. Maybe you’ve made grocery lists, clipped coupons, and are beginning to prepare for house guests. You might be getting travel plans set.  Or maybe you’ve mapped out and created a spreadsheet (Yes, this really happens and high-five to […]

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My Short Log of Sexual Assault: An Open Letter to Men

Disclaimer: This is an open letter to men, because I think all men should hear my words and understand the struggles I (and many others) have faced. I am not accusing ALL men of being perpetrators, but I do believe we need ALL men to stand up against the culture of assault and violence that leaves people victimized and afraid.  Hey, you, guy. Yeah, […]

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What Teachers Want Parents to Know: The Secondary Years

I teach primarily freshman students. Last school year I sent my son off to Kindergarten. During parent night in my classroom, I secretly wanted to say, “It’s going to be okay. I know what you are going through.” Although their children were nearly a decade older than my son, I couldn’t help but think that […]

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Hiking Eastern Iowa Part 3: 2 Places to Take a Day Trip

So far this summer I have aimed to keep my family non-busy and flexible. I’d rather not spend too much time planning out the day-to-day. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to go do stuff or to have a great day away from the house with my kids. I find that now they are older, we […]

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Hiking Eastern Iowa Part 2: 3 Trails to Hit in Hot Weather

Well, June sure has thrown us for a hot weather loop. I was pretty sure I read somewhere that June was supposed to be cooler than average. Oh well, that is Mother Nature for us. Now, if you are anything like me, then once those temps hit 90 (especially with the humidity) all you want […]

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A Letter to My 17yo self feature

SEVENTEEN & PREGNANT: A Letter to My 17-Year-Old Self

Dear 17-year-old Brittney, As your friends prepare for graduation parties and their first days of college, you will be holding your swollen belly, feeling your baby girl kick and contemplating if you have what it takes to be a mom. You will feel uncomfortable in the final weeks before graduation because you can hear the […]

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